How the work of Tim Ingold unfolds Deleuze and Guattari´s ontology

Portuguese version HERE

11a International Deleuze and Guattari Studies Conference, Unicamp, 2018: HERE

Nelson Job

Tim Ingolg

Deleuze & Guattari

In our communication I’m going to present the anthropology of Tim Ingold and the points where it unfolds Deleuze and Guattari´s ontology. We know how problematic it is to call Deleuze and Guattari’s work a “ontology” and I want to make clear right away that by “ontology”, going beyond the “study of being”, I’m following the Stoics and replacing, in a manner of speaking, Being by becoming.

That said, here is a short introduction to Tim Ingold: he is a British anthropologist born in 1948, son of an important specialist in fungi, Cecil Ingold. Since the beginning of his work, following the Steps of an author who influenced him, Gregory Bateson, Ingold was always a strange body in Anthropology, where many of his colleagues have a difficult time understanding his wanderings. His initial ethnographic work was among the skolts, natives of Finland, which he intends to resume in the near future. From 1999 onwards, Ingold started teaching in Aberdeen University, Scotland, where he finally found the freedom to minister his classes as he saw fit, for instance: his students were barefoot on class for greater contact with the environment. Ingold takes them to the beach to fly kites, and so to perceive immanence along the lines that join together the sand, student, kite and wind, even making wicker baskets, to work univocity along content and expression. Since the publication of his 2000 book, The Perception of environment, Ingold achieved the greatest international renown of his opus – which also began to influence Deleuze and Guattari, mainly on A Thousand Plateaus – even visiting Brazil a few times and finally having one of his books translated by Editora Vozes, Being Alive. Ingold is a frequent critic of the works of Lévi-Strauss and Bruno Latour, but more of this later. The anthropology of Ingold, according to himself, is anti-disciplinary, in the sense he criticizes the term interdisciplinary, making his anthropology flow together with art, education and psychology, while it has a philosophical derivation. Besides, in his latest book, Anthopology: why it matters, he adds that anthropology is philosophy with people in.

Concluding this introduction to Ingold, what moves me to this present communication is the fact that, despite the enormous influence of Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy, it seems that nobody else was able to advance their ontology up to this moment. What we usually get are original or not-so-original uses of their concepts, inserting them in unprecedented fields and advancing the understanding of the bibliography present on their texts. With Tim Ingold, it finally seems that somebody managed to go farther. This will be our present subject.

In the first place, the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari is understood as a “between” philosophy. What Ingold proposes in various moments of his work is that the place of between be replaced by the concept of along. The problem of between, for Ingold, is that it excludes part of the environment, and along includes everything, all the live inherent to the process. It is necessary to understand here that the ontology of Deleuze and Guattari would be something like the along. The idea here is only to make this explicit. However, the problem of between resonates on other authors, such as Bruno Latour and his famous Actor-Network Theory. Actor-Network Theory, despite the innumerous alterations applied to it by Latour over time, including disowning this name, separates the actors from the network, creating yet another dualism. In an amusing text of Being Alive, Ingold creates a spider in a conversation with an ant (ANT: Actor-Network Theory) declaring that the spider, that spins its web from itself, is in fact immanent to its “network”, which Ingold replaces with meshwork. Ingold’s critique to the idea of network is that it only concerns its nodes, and not what happens along them!

The question of the along took us inevitably to the question of meshworks in Ingold, which he drew from philosopher Henri Lefebvre. The meshworks emerge here, due to what was said before and being an image more efficient for immanence. And it is here Ingold brings another important contribution to the work of Deleuze and Guattari: it is in relation to the question of lines, whose entanglement will constitute a meshwork, as mentioned earlier. Ingold will depart from the use Deleuze and Guattari make in A Thousand Plateaus of the lines of painter Paul Klee, which on his own words, are alive; they are the point that went out for a walk. Ingold recovers Deleuze and Guattari’s idea where following the lines is different from “imitating”, or in other words, it is much more a question of itinerancy than “interaction”, due to the dynamism in the processes evoked here by Ingold. We will return to the interaction problem later. We can say that Ingold’s anthropology is about the itinerancies of the lines and their entanglements; he dedicated two books to the theme of lines, and they always appear along his work. These entanglements resonate with the haecceity Deleuze and Guattari recovered from Duns Scot.

Twittering Machine, Paul Klee

Angelus Novus, Paul Klee

 Again referring to Klee, Ingold quotes him when he says the shapes of genesis and growth of forms are more important than the forms themselves. And yet again: “art doesn’t reproduce the visible, but turn things visible”. Here it is possible to note the resonances with the philosophy of Bergson, when he says on his text “The perception of change”; the function of the artist is to make us see what was until then invisible to us. Ingold says in an interview he read so much Bergson in his youth that now he doesn’t know if he had a new idea or if he is simply thinking like Bergson! In a sense similar to Klee, Kandinsky’s paintings and writings are also important to Ingold.

And the lines take us to the rhizome, which by the way is a term took by Deleuze and Guattari from the book Naven, by Gregory Bateson. This is one of the most interesting critiques made by Ingold. He says borrowing this concept from biology is inappropriate! Explanation: what is, after all, rhizome in botany? In fact, a rhizome is an entanglement of roots. However, it is a sort of natural cloning process. A rhizome reproduces creating a network of similarities. And worse: if a part of the rhizome is attacked, the entire network falls apart! The banana tree is a typical rhizome. And the greatest threat to banana trees, one that will spread to the entire rhizome if one tree is contaminated, is... fungi! Curiously, it is exactly on the fungal mycelia Ingold will find the best example in biology of the philosophical rhizome. Based on biologist Alan Rayner, Ingold says fungal mycelia – what would be the fungi “meshwork” – possess the characteristics resonating more precisely with the philosophical concept of the rhizome, because fungal mycelia do not possess a center, can last millions of years, transmit information along the forest, being even considered nowadays the brain of the forest! There is a kind of “fungal revolution” occurring today on biology, thanks to the studies of many authors, among them Paul Stamets. Finally, if part of the mycelia is destroyed, different from rhizomes such as the banana tree, it reconstitutes itself, due to its non-centered processing!

Fungi Mycelium

It must be said that Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophical concept of rhizome, as a philosophical conception, is intact. The critique is against the, let us say, unfortunate image borrowed from botany. The study of fungi can offer a more efficient and precise understanding of this philosophical concept.

Another problematization made by Ingold is related to the concepts of smooth and striated in A Thousand Plateaus. For Deleuze and Guattari, there is a correspondence between the haptic (tactile)/optical and smooth/striated distinctions. For Ingold, the distinction between tactile and optical happens only on the striated, that is, the farmer, as close as it may bring his vision to earth and holding the hoe, and even if the Gothic stonemason can work on ground level, they are not nomads! In other words, the fact the tactile and optical are transversal in the farmer and in the mason does not necessarily resonates in transversality between the smooth and the striated. This transversality occurs only on the striated. This is important to Ingold, because he will spin an entire conception about what is atmosphere, which he developed inspired by the philosopher Gernot Böhme, in the place of “landscape”, in the sense that “landscape” is something untouched and atmosphere is eminently relational.

Another detail, from a more general scope, would be the question of ontology and epistemology, another item present on Ingold’s work. In his provocations on the order of an anti-discipline, following immanent and living lines, Ingold criticizes this separation and says there is no way to think about one without the other. Once again, if Deleuze and Guattari still talk eventually about “ontology”, their work is an example of immanence along ontology and epistemology, even if this is not explicit. If we consistently desire to have immanence as our starting point, it is necessary to learn immanence along epistemology and ontology, i.e., without the dualism between being and thinking. From the starting point of immanence, “being” would be converted in becoming, as I said in the beginning, and “thinking” would be converted in knowing, or rather, “knowledge” is converted in wisdom. This is the theme of one of Ingold’s most recent books, Anthropology and/as education, published this year, that circles around the idea that education, in the Ingoldian sense it resonates with anthropology, is more connected with attention than with “transmission”! Attention here is not a cognitive process, but an ecological one, in the sense of togethering. This “togethering” is, for Ingold, the difference between “interaction” (as mentioned before) and correspondence, the theme of his upcoming book. Interaction is an alternation between actions, and correspondence is togethering. Ingold gives the game of chess as an example. Interaction would be the individual alternation of response to the other player’s movement. Correspondence would be the itinerancy of both in the love of chess. This culminates in Ingold’s critique of the concept of “otherness”. It wouldn’t be a question of ‘other”, but, once again, of togethering. There is nothing more Spinozian and Deleuzian. It is not a question of “you and me”, but us! And, perhaps, us not only in the sense of correspondence along subject and object, but also the nodes entangling Ingoldian lines... (In Portuguese “nós” means “us” and “nodes”)

My purpose was to demonstrate the subtle benefits that Ingold’s peculiar anthropology brings to the Deleuze and Guattari´s ontology. In my opinion, Ingold brings a greater intimacy, so to speak, with immanence. In other words, it is different to philosophize “about” immanence and philosophize in immanence!



 An epistemontological vortex
Nelson Job

In portughese this article HERE

The world machine opened itself
to the one who already avoided breaking it
and lamented even thinking about it.
It opened, majestic and discreet,
without proffering an impure sound
or a glare beyond what is tolerable
by pupils tired by the continuous
and dolorous inspection of the desert,
and by the mind exhausted by minding
an entire reality transcending
its own image delineated
on the face of mystery, on the depths.
It opened itself in pure calm, and inviting
all the remaining senses and intuitions
to the one who, by using them, had already lost them.
Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Oniric ontology emerges from the relations between magic and science, mediated by philosophy and permeated by art. The result is an amalgam in great proportions of concepts that were evidenced in our text Towards an Oniric Ontology, on this blog.

 It is necessary to forge a concept that trespasses Oniric Ontology in its entirety and provides the necessary plasticity once allowed by the articulation of transformed ancient concepts. This concept is the vortex.

The vortex, as we apprehend it, is a relation of forces in a wild becoming that self-organizes around an attractor, generating instances in time, being, or better, in happeningness, in a ubiquitous way. The vortex appears in other ways of knowing, such as fluid dynamics, that has a vorticity with mathematical characteristics. This specific vortex emerges in hurricanes, tornadoes, in the movements of coffee in a cup. His vectorial field, or force field, is a version of our relational field, in the sense we paraphrase Whitehead (1978): each relation between vortexes is in itself a vortex. All those vortexes are intuitions of a deeper concept of vortex. Let us see other tendencies: in the Theory of Relativity, there is a space-time vortex, the effect of a mass that deforms the space-temporal material of the cosmos.

In Quantum Mechanics, the quanton, concept proposed by the physician and philosopher Mario Bunge (2000) is, ontologically, a strange object, that involves characteristics of wave and particle. This is an intuition of the vortex in our conceptualization, that is a local, but ubiquitous, relation of forces, and its happeningness occurs singularly in function of this coexistence. A vortex is a coexistence of non-local cosmic vorticity and also has a relation of neighborhood and non-local relationship with one or more vortexes. In other words, the vortex in its quantum aspect, that is, as a quanton, is local and non-local, coexisting in a more coagulated form locally and in a more virtual form non-locally, but locality and virtuality overlap, so the vortex is integrally intensive. In a vortexology, it does not make more conceptual sense in terms of actual or virtual, but only in terms of intensities.

Fractals, self-similary figures, intimate the ubiquity of the vortex: vortexes are self-similary, immanent to ontology as well to epistemology, that is, the vortex is indeed, in its widest and deepest nature, ubiquitous and self-similar. The theory of Twistor Superstrings (PENROSE-2005) – in the more cosmic and more microscopic way – and the Causal Dynamical Triangulation (AMBJORN, JURKIEWICZ and LOLL - 2008) – pointing to the relation of fractals and quantum phenomena – intuit, each in its own way, the ubiquitousness and self-similarity of the vortex, as well as its passage by different Physics: Quantum, Relativistic and Chaotic, showing that there is a crossing point going through them, the emergence of a transknowledge[1] of the physical field, after all, they all describe aspects of the cosmos we inhabit and are.

The philosophical concept of abstract machine (with its duly simpler explanation: the strange attractor) intuit the ontological aspect of the vortex: the vortex is formed by vortexes and is part of other vortexes.

Let us see these aspects or coexistent and implicate vortex levels:
. epistemontologically, the vortex is pure immanence 
cosmically, the vortex and its particles self-organize in stars
. geologically, the vortex self-organizes on earth
psychically, the vortex self-organizes in living organic and non-organic attractors; and never "individuals", since there is no isolated vortex, but in variable levels and in a gradation of relations of local and non-local vortexes
. the vortex as virtual: Time and its coexistences in multiple times, with the chronological linearity as a shredded, narrowed, locked vortex; the virtual vortex virtual in its splendor is the coexistence of dreams, of dream-images
. the vortex as spiritual: the vortexes that occupy the cosmos beyond time and space, but influencing incidentally in the space-time, since there are non-local relationships between vortexes. Apprehending this is called illumination by some. The vortex is actual and virtual, but this duality does not make more sense, the vortex is the cone of Bergson (1999) in its cosmic fluidity. Both Descartes and Newton (DOBBS, 2002) tried to announce the vortex, but their mechanistic worldview did not allow the power demanded by the vortex. In Bergsonism, the dualist dam, announced in the preface of Matter and Memory, even if attenuated, haunted the vortex. The vortex is, precisely,intensive
The vortex as transcendent: cosmic vorticity may collapse at any time. The vortex is in a madder, wilder becoming, that could engender a collapse more or less encompassing in its more fully coexistent, but also more intensely collapsing nature, generating a transcendent vorticity. The transcendent vortex may stop being a vortex, can stop being, can stop non-being. In short: the vortex may generate an a posteriori transcendence.

The vortex has variable velocities; a specific change in the speed may cause a catalytic process that changes the speed of multiple vortexes. However, when a velocity is off this harmony, there is some potency loss. A vortex must be in resonance with the others, and the more cosmic resonance, the better. Echoes of Spinoza: the modes must compose with other modes, enhancing potency and enjoyment. The intensive resonance of the vortexes in its greater splendor, generating the full cosmic laughter! 

So, vortexology is announced: art evidences the vortex, science models the vortex, philosophy ex-plains the vortex, magic conjures the vortex. Meditation intensifies the vortex, ethics cultivates the vortex, love multiplies the vortex. Oniric Ontology lives the vortex.

The vortex brings the Storm to the entrails of reality. Many realities are forged using in its core this or that vortex, that is, the vortex defends a multiple, perspectivist reality. The ontological dreamer lives in the vortex and sleeps in the eye of the hurricane, the instance of infinite mobility that tends to zero, but in a pure immanence that does not arrives at zero. So much movement and absence of movement, when war and peace, life and death, etc., are deceitful dualities that the vortex betrays and unfolds. "Unstable balance": vertigos and ethical perversions, so is the vortex. To vortexes becoming until they cease being, and even until they cease un-being. Vortexology: we are vortex - vortex becoming – vortex multiplicity -  vortex cosmos.

AMBJORN, Jan, JURKIEWICZ, Jerzy and LOLL, Renate “Universo quântico auto-organizado” in: Scientific American 75 year 06, pp 28-35, 2008.
BERGSON, Henri, Matéria e memória – ensaio sobre a relação do corpo com o espírito. 2nd ed. São Paulo, Martins Fontes1999.
BUNGE, Mario, Física e filosofia1st ed. São Paulo, Perspectiva, 2000.
DOBBS, Betty Jo Teeter, The Janus faces of genius – The Role of Alchemy in Newton’s thought. 1st ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
PENROSE, Roger, 2005, The Road to Reality – A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe1st ed. New York, Knopf.
WHITEHEAD, Alfred North, 1978, Process and Reality (corrected edition)1st ed. New York, The Free Press.

Transleted by Pedro Ribeiro: pedrolvribeiro@yahoo.com.br

[1] - We aprehend transknowing as transdiciplanary knowledges applied to life and not only as epistemological concepts.


Towards an Oniric Ontology

confluences between magic, philosophy and science

Nelson Job

This article in portuguese: HERE

"I can even sleep, but at the same time strong dreams keep me awake."
Franz Kafka

"Cowan City" Yerka

The relations between magic, philosophy and science were hidden for a long time by the Illuminist paradigm. Now we can approach with greater consistency the intense resonances between those modes of knowledge. Establishing the proximity between, specifically, Hermeticism, the avatar of Western magic, the Philosophy of Difference, according to development by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and Modern Physics, with emphasis on Quantum Mechanics, Chaos Theory and elements of Cosmology, it is possible to elaborate an ontological theory of dreams and a new conception for transcendence.

Hermetism, an open definition
To define ‘magic’ is an inglorious task, since demonology historian Stuart Clark (2006) sustains that magic is nothing; it is whatever a certain cultural scenario determines it to be. A helpful definition for composing the concepts of this article is made by the anthropologist Marcel Mauss (2003), defining magic as “the art of change”. In this article[1], we will use the most influent example of Western Magic: Hermeticism.

Hermeticism (Westcott, 2003) is a confluence between the wisdom associated to the cult of the god Thoth in ancient Egypt with the Neoplatonic philosophy of Plotinus. It is commonly associated to the mythic figure of Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Great Master: of the physical, mental and spiritual worlds), and is named as the god Thoth himself, as well as his greatest disciple, without any historical corroboration of his existence, which indicates that the texts attributed to him were written by different authors using his name. Hermeticism was organized in the turn of the 19th to the 20th century in seven principles, which will be used to weave the relations with philosophy and science in this article.

Hermeticism influenced the philosophy of Leibniz and Spinoza, as well as great names of science. Giordano Bruno (Yates, 1964) based his important conceptions of an animic, infinite, decentralized and dynamic universe on Hermeticism, among other inspirations. Kepler (Connor, 2005) – who performed with remarkable acclaim the role of astrologer – was also influenced by the Hermetic knowledge to compose his Harmony of the World. Isaac Newton was inspired by Alchemy and Hermeticism to create his general concept of force and gravity (Dobbs, 1984). Newton removed from the second edition of his Principia the affirmation of his belief in the transmutation of matter, relegating the quote to his Optica. From this it is possible to speculate that Poincaré and Einstein may have, with the equivalence of energy and matter, recovered the occult Newton.

The influence of Newton’s physics was independent of his Hermetic influences, but science never lost the Hermetic accent, above all in some peculiarities of modern Physics. This purified Newtonian Physics, the Inquisition, the postulation of a language ontologically disconnected from the world (establishing a separation between words and things) and the triumph of Illuminism relegated Hermeticism, between the 17th and 18th centuries, to ghettos without any credibility.

The Philosophy of Difference, between other modes of knowledge, tackles the problem of dualities such as nature and culture, body and mind, subject and object, etc. or, at least, puts those dualities in movement. We will use here the conception of Philosophy of Difference defended by Deleuze (2006) in his book Difference and Repetition: it intends to “take away the difference from its state of damnation”; no longer subordinating difference to opposition, analogy, similarity, denial, identity, that is, to all aspects of mediation and representation, for that is how pure difference is reached. It is not about inscribing difference in the general concept. Difference is affirmation. It is not a question of givens, but how the givens are given. The process-based tonic is extremely relevant, as well as the concept of becoming: the change that changes, without support, continuously, but in an inconstant way, eliminating permanence and transcendence. Here, becoming is in principle equivalent to being, but goes beyond it, that is, ontology itself is in becoming in the Philosophy of Difference.

In this article we will use the seven items of Simulacra presented by Deleuze which are considered by Manuel Delanda (2004), while present in the entire opus of Deleuze, duly altered and updated in different planes according to the problem in question. These items belong to a Bergsonian ontology, composed by the actual, the intensive and the virtual.

 The virtual: the coexistence of times past, present and future, where the future is ontological, as all time, but it does not involve the production of the new: the becoming. The actual: the present that passes away, the present moment and the intensive: the passage from the actual to the virtual and vice-versa, with one way not corresponding to the other. The actual, the virtual and the intensive overlap, as there is no pure virtual or actual (Bergson, 1999). The Principles of Hermeticism also overlap. As the functions of Modern Physics speak about the same universe, but in different levels, they also overlap, and this superposition is a goal of science with the name of Theory of Unification.

The entangled differences
The Seven Principles of Hermeticism will now be related to the seven items of the Simulacra and the seven functions of Modern Physics. It is worth to note what Heisenberg (1999) said about the philosophy of Heraclitus: “If we replace the word fire with energy, we may almost repeat his affirmations word by word, according to our modern point of view”.

The Principle of Gender, in Hermeticism, asserts the relationship between the male and female principles engendering the continuity of the universe. Not “man” and “woman”, but different and complementary cosmic principles. Deleuze says that the item of Simulacra called involving center is the accretion of complexity of living beings, the physic-chemical, organic and cultural unfolding[2] without involving a teleological evolutionism. Now, the cosmology of Mário Novello (2010) supposes a bouncing universe, eternal and dynamic, as the cosmos enunciated by Heraclitus. Here, the relation between these three modes of knowledge share a dynamic process-related cosmos, continuously self-creating in all levels.

In the Principle of Cause and Effect, from all previous causes emerge an effect, that is, the effect is not generated by a single previous cause, but by the entire chain of events so far, keeping the idea that cosmic processes are continuous. Deleuze says that the molar and the molecular are a double articulation that is simultaneously of the order of quality and extension, which in Physics corresponds to the non-elementary particles. We can note visions with differentiated, but implicated levels of organization, taking part in a grand cosmic process.

The most popular Principle of Hermeticism is the Principle of Correspondence, which says: as above, so below, relating macrocosm and microcosm. In the Philosophy of Difference, there is the concept of monad, systematized by Leibniz, and developed by Gabriel Tarde. Deleuze (2000) conceptualizes the monad drawing from these authors, affirming that it is the living and perpetual mirror of the universe, but with a closed level resonating with the entire universe and other directly connected to the universe. The philosopher articulates the monads with the fractals, self-similary figures related Chaos Theory. The so-called wave collapse also conflates these concepts, in the sense that the monad, example of the intensive in Bergson, actualizes the virtual, as the wave, in Quantum Mechanics (QM), collapses into a particle. Anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff (2002), using his model of quantum consciousness created with physician Roger Penrose, links the version of the wave collapse caused by the supposed quantum gravity, called Objective Reduction, with an example of monad. As the monadology creates a new statute of the subject, non-aprioristic, but relational in becoming, where the sequence of monads is the place of emergence of the subject, also the sequence of Objective Reductions in the brain creates the flow of consciousness, differing from the conventional interpretations of QM where the observer realizes the wave collapse. Finally, the speculative proposal of quantum gravitation called Causal Dynamic Triangulation (Ambjorn, Jurkiewicz, and Loll, 2008) establishes a fractal self-similarity in the quantum level of matter. All these levels show a profound relation between the micro and macro levels of the cosmos, indicating that each portion of the cosmos bears the totality, even if in becoming.
The Principle of Polarity says that everything in the cosmos has its opposite that is, in truth, the extreme of the same thing; everything has its double, that are different in degree but of the same nature. The concept of resonance, that Deleuze unfolds based on Gilbert Simondon, affirms the intrinsic relationship between two instances, being even capable of being non-local, and those two instances, even when generating an individuation process, follow their process of differentiation. An example would be the non-local resonance between Leibniz and Newton when they created the differential calculus, but with different formalisms. In QM, the quantum entanglement is the simultaneity relationship between two elementary particles in quantum state, with some differences, such as spin rotation. Here we can verify in these three modes of knowledge a relationship of simultaneity between different but interlinked processes.

The principle of Rhythm shows that everything has an ebb and flow in the cosmos, patterns of behavior. The concept of abstract machine in Deleuze e Guattari (1995) also indicates a process of trans-spatial and trans-temporal self-organization between vectors that compose a pattern. Manuel Delanda (1997), building on a proposal by Prigogine, relates abstract machines with attractors, where the strange attractor, in Chaos Theory, becomes one of the simplest example of an abstract machine. The strange attractor is formed by self-organizing vectors, bifurcating fractally. With those relations, we can observe that the cosmos possess a process of self-organization, manifested in patterns identified in many levels.

The Principle of Vibration affirms that the entire cosmos is vibrational, as in the Philosophy of Difference: everything vibrates, as exemplified by the concept of multiplicity understood as a noun, not as an attribute or an adjective. Difference of difference producing divergence and de-centering. Here the vectors begin to appear, but the sense and connection are not yet well defined. One of the Unification Theories, the Superstring Theory (Greene, 2005), also presumes a vibrational cosmos, of strings vibrating in different ways, generating different manifestations of elementary particles. There is no need to place our bets in the entire superstrings theory; it is its vibrational aspect that is being pointed here. In this item is easy to relate the vibrational aspect in Hermeticism, in philosophy and Physics: all is vibration.

Finally, in the Principle of Mentalism[3] the cosmos is the mind, and matter is understood as a coagulation of this mind. The plane of immanence, a concept of Deleuze and Guattari (1992), is pure difference, infinite velocity, the positive zero. The plane coexists with chaos and cannot be thought about without it. Deleuze and Guattari conceive the time of philosophy as the coexistence of various planes, without eliminating the “before” and the “after”. In QM, the quantum void is the function closest to these concepts, as it is formed by a complex structure of relation between opposite that cancel each other, but which can be excited to generate some material form. There are many examples of a similar structure, such as the concept of Tao, one of the fundaments of Taoism. In this last articulation, we can perceive that there is an instance in the cosmos that almost does not exist, but exists minimally, generation the possibility of emerging the cosmos from itself. But, as we have seen, the way does not come only from this primordial instance, but in becoming, in arriving at it, in a process of de-coagulation of matter, be it through meditation, quantum state or from causing changes in the bodies that may or not be subtle, but which are intensive.

Oniric ontology
These relations between Hermeticism, philosophy and physics can take us to unprecedented places. A peculiar question is dreaming. Psychology, since Freud, delimited the study of dreams to a representational model, reducing the oniric processes to a mere exercise of interpretation, inherited from Christianity, which stigmatized dreaming and hunted down its interpreters. Observing ancient traditions, such as Shamanism, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, and in Ancient Greece, with the oneirocritica of Artemidorus, the dream is generally treated as a state of reality that includes many levels, and also as a non-temporal process that allows intuitions about the future (Shulman and Stroumsa, 1999).

The Philosophy of Difference affirms that the dream is virtual, since during sleep the sensory-motor is relaxed, allowing a flowing into the virtual, with dreaming being this non-temporal exercise. The narration of the dream, actualizing this dreaming, should be less interpreted and more experienced, as an invitation to new possibilities in life. The dream not as the protector of sleep, as neuroscience want us to believe, but as a singular modulation of vigil; in other words, through the oniric philosophy of María Zambrano (2006), we affirm that the greatest challenge is not interpreting the dream, but assimilating it.

If, in the quantum consciousness model of Penrose and Hameroff, there is quantum entanglement in the brain, we may speculate that there is quantum entanglement between two or more brains and between brains and other objects. Articulating this to a cosmological possibility in which the universe may possess different physical laws in different places (Novello, 1988), we could also speculate that during dreaming the brain entangles with places where the cosmos has other laws, sometimes incomprehensible ones, much different from this corner of the universe. The cosmos, then, is understood as a material that is also oniric, where the threshold between dream and vigil is so soft as the quantum and classic thresholds of the universe.

For another transcendence
Another development of the relations realized here is the radicalization of the concept of becoming. If given its maximum liberty, the becoming – which, above all after Spinoza, allows the problematization of dualities, including between transcendence and immanence – brings a novelty: the postulation of an a posteriori transcendence. If transcendence is forbidden to the becoming, an epistemological transcendence is created by this: there is no transcendence in the becoming. This is a fact if we conceive a priori transcendences: the Platonic world of the Ideas, the God of Scholastics, the mind having different nature than the body, in Descartes and the Kantian categorical imperatives. These concepts, really, have no place in a Philosophy of Difference, but a wild becoming, without any bounds - including epistemological bounds – can generate transcendence, a posteriori, of course. But here, this transcendence indeed transcends all knowledge and experience; it is not known if it exists, but only that it can possibly be created by the becoming. It is not a new duality, since then we would know something about it: that this transcendence would be in opposition to immanence. But such is not the case, since this transcendence, beyond any way of knowing, is also beyond any category, and to fit it in a dualism would be to categorize it. It is not the advent of a discontinuous either, since when we state a continuous immanence we do not know if this transcendence makes the immanence discontinuous. It is only assumed the possibility of an a posteriori transcendence, generated by the wildest becoming, and nothing else can be known or said about it so far, without creating apriorisms and epistemologies disconnected from ontology.

When a virtual dream concept with the status of reality is generated, an oniric ontology is also established. So we can observe another element of such ontology: being in becoming, it cannot be disconnected from an epistemology, for there is no definitive way of knowing about it, since here magic, philosophy and science are understood as immanent modes of knowledge. However, at any moment can be generated, if it has not been done already, an a posteriori transcendence, eliminating any apriorism in the cosmos, an oniric ontology in wild becoming.

So the dream is the start of all magic, as said by Zambrano (1994). Which goes to show that magic is present in all modes of knowledge, philosophy, science, but also the arts. Magic and art are the first versions of the desired assimilation of dreams, with magic recurring to practices that cross the threshold of the actual. In those practices is the core of science, and from the apprehension of these processes, philosophy emerges. We did not speak of a species of “theory of everything”, but of a springboard to a not-knowing, concepts that promote the abandon of concepts, event if the evocation of this not-knowing is not consistent: the intuition of an a posteriori transcendence. There is an awakening in the dream, which is reality. An oniric ontology is made.


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[1] This article is a summary of my doctor degree thesis “Towards an Oniric Ontology: confluences between magic, philosophy and science”, published at HCTE/UFRJ, with the orientation of Physician Luiz Pinguelli Rosa.

[2] The Philosophy of Difference possesses the concept of non-organic life, uniting the natural and the artificial.
[3] In the threshold of the Principles of Mentalism and Gender, since all principles coexist, we find resonances also with the physical relationship between matter and anti-matter.

Translated by Pedro Ribeiro

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth’ exhibited 1842

"Snow Storm" Turner